Travelers arriving at Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) in Bangkok, Thailand can easily get a tourist SIM card and eSIM from AIS, TrueMove H, and DTAC and other providers.
When arriving at Bangkok International Airport (also known as Suvarnabhumi airport (BKK)), you will look for where to get a sim card in order to have access to the Internet and stay in touch with your family and friends.
This article provides everything you need to know for getting a sim card at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), including:
- Where to get sim cards at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport
- How is the registration process
- How much does a sim card for Thailand cost at the BKK airport
- Where to exchange money (for buying sim cards and other purposes)
Thankfully, the process is fast at the airport. Here we will guide you in details:
Table of Contents
Notes from editor:
- Your phone needs to be unlocked in order to use a Thailand prepaid sim card. This applies to both esim and international sim cards (that cover Thailand). Generally, phones bought from Asia, Australia, and Europe are unlocked while phones from the USA may be often locked.
- Buying sim card at Bangkok Airport BKK on arrival is considered the most convenient way to buy a prepaid physical sim card for your trip to Thailand
- Most packages from mobile operators in Thailand are rather the same in terms of data volume and validity. But, you should go for the one offering max data speed.
- We recommend the DTAC sim card for Bangkok thanks to its affordable price and good speed.
- If Bangkok is among the stops on your trip to many countries, then you should look for international travel sim cards, which allow you to connect and use data in multiple countries.
I. Before arrival
Some airlines of Thailand give tourists a sim card “for free”, for example Thai Airways.
According to the experience of a traveler, he said that he was offered a free SIM card from Thai Airways. It is “free SIM Plus 8GB data”, but he realized that it is actually only 20MB (when you zoom in the sim card package).
Also, even though the SIM card is free, you still have to do the registration. So, if you happen to see yourself in this case, be noted.
II. Where to buy a Thailand sim card for tourists at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport after arrival?
After arrival, you will do regular procedures for getting baggage, customs,… and you may look for a place to buy a prepaid travel sim card for Bangkok. Luckily, everywhere around the airport, you can find sim card shops from major mobile operators in Thailand.
There is no reason for you to miss the sim card shops at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport. As soon as you get out of the airplane and follow the signs to immigration, you can see sim card stores almost everywhere.
At BKK airport, all 3 cell phone companies have booths beside each other in the arrival hall.
You can find sim card shops at:
- Around the baggage claim area: near the luggage belts, around the baggage claim area, you can find sim card shops, the number of shops can be 10.
- At the arrival hall (where you are after picking up your bag and walking through the customs bag check), you can see 3 big counters of 3 popular mobile network operators in Thailand: DTAC, AIS, TrueMove H. Signs “buy your sim card for Thailand here” are everywhere, so do worry about missing.
In details for 3 big mobile operators:
1. Where to buy a DTAC sim card at Suvarnabhumi Airport?
- Official store
- Branch 1 : International Arrival Terminal, Exit Gate 7
- Branch 2 : International Arrival Terminal, Exit Gate 9
- Branch 3 : International Arrival hall, Baggage Claim No. 19
- Branch 4 : International Arrival hall, Baggage Claim No. 10
- Partner store
- Branch 1 : International Arrival hall, Baggage Claim No. 18
- Branch 2 : International Arrival hall, Baggage Claim No. 16
- Branch 3 : International Arrival hall, Baggage Claim No. 8
- Official store
- Opening hours: 07:00 am – 10:00 pm every day (Thailand Time Zone, GMT+07:00)
- Pros: Hassle-free, fast, no-waiting
- Cons: the pick up is on the outside (pass the luggage/customs area)
2. Where to buy an AIS sim card at Suvarnabhumi Airport?
You can either buy AIS sim card for tourists to Thailand at AIS Booth or at Suvarnabhumi Aiport Mobile Center.
- AIS Booth: located in the International Arrival Halls between Gate 6 and 7
- Suvarnabhumi Airport Mobile Center: Level 2 of departure hall near the check-in row R
- Opening hours: 24 hour, daily, from Monday to Sunday
3. Where to buy a TrueMove H sim card at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport?
The True Shop is very easy to find at Suvarnabhumi Airport. After reaching the airport, after the arrival procedure, you pick up the luggage and then you can see the True Shop just outside the arrival hall. The staff is friendly and will help insert the sim card for you.
- Location: International Arrivals Hall with:
- True Shop – Branch 1: International Arrivals Hall, Baggage Claim No.8 No.11 and 17
- True Shop – Branch 2: International Arrivals Terminal 2nd Floor, Exit B : Gate 4, Gate 5
- True Shop – Branch 3: International Arrivals Terminal 2nd Floor, Exit C : Gate 9
- Opening hours: 24 hours, daily
Besides, you can also buy Thailand sim cards for tourists at shops of other sim card shops at the airport like KLOOK counter.
III. What’s about the opening hours of sim card shops at BKK airport?
No need to worry about the opening hours of the sim card shops at Bangkok Airport BKK if you arrive super late. All the mobile phone stores are open 24 hours.
IV. How much does a Thailand sim card cost at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport?
It is no secret that Thailand sim cards at Bangkok Airport are more expensive than shops away from the airport. At Bangkok Airport they sell tourist sim cards for tourist prices.
The cost of a Thailand SIM card at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport varies depending on the network provider and the plan you choose.
You can expect to pay around 100-300 Baht (approximately $3-$10 USD) for a basic prepaid SIM card that comes with a certain amount of data and talk time. However, prices can be higher for SIM cards with more data and features.
Tip: It is always a good idea to compare prices and plans from different providers before purchasing a SIM card.
V. Registration process to buy Thai sim cards for tourists at Suvarnabhumi Airport
Everyone buying a prepaid sim card in Bangkok will have to show any form of photo ID, so bring your passport. Your new Thailand sim card will be registered on your passport number and name and a copy will be taken in the store.
If you want to avoid this then you can order an international sim card online or get an eSIM for Thailand. No passport registration is needed for these types of tourist SIM.
VI. Why buying Thailand eSIM for tourists online before arriving at BKK airport?
As mentioned above, buying eSIM to Thailand online is highly recommended for tourists.
When buying a SIM card at Suvarnabhumi airport (BKK) in Thailand, tourists may consider an eSIM instead. Here are some pros and cons:
- No need to register personal information
- Purchase and activate the eSIM in advance of your trip
- Stay connected immediately after landing at the airport
- Keep your original SIM card in your phone while using the eSIM
- Easily activate the eSIM on your mobile device, without visiting a physical store
- Requires a mobile device with eSIM technology
- If you lose or damage your phone, or experience technical issues, you may not be able to use the eSIM, which could be problematic while traveling.
Where to buy a tourist eSIM to Thailand before arriving at BKK airport?
Buy eSIM plans from a prestige eSIM provider instead of buying directly from one of Thailand mobile operators.
Both local Thailand mobile operators and eSIM providers offer eSIM. However, the advice is to choose eSIM from eSIM providers instead of local mobile operators in Thailand. Because:
- Convenience: eSIM providers offer online purchase and activation, which is more convenient for those who prefer to avoid physical stores and personal registration schemes. Plus, you can activate the eSIM remotely through an app or website.
- Cost savings: Travel eSIMs from eSIM providers can be more cost-effective, especially for short-term tourists in Thailand. Additionally, eSIM providers typically offer a wider range of package options from different Thai mobile network operators, providing customers with greater flexibility and varying prices. For instance, Thailandesim.com offers data plans from both DTAC and AIS.
- Diverse options: As mentioned, eSIM providers offer data plans from different mobile operators in Thailand, giving customers numerous options to choose from.
Which are best eSIM plans for tourists to Thailand?
Here are some popular Thailand eSIM data plans for tourists from the provider Thailandesim.com:
- Thailand eSIM 15GB Ultd – valid for 8 days
- Thailand eSIM 30GB Ultd – valid for 15 days
- ASIA eSIM – 8 countries – ideal for those traveling multiple countries
- GO Inter eSIM – 6GB Ultd – valid for 10 days – work in 27 countries including Asia, USA and Australia
VII. Currency exchange – cash only
This is for those who are going to buy Thailand sim cards by cash.
You can exchange money at many places after picking up your luggage and passing through the customs.
More challenging is that a lot of sim card stores, especially in the baggage claim hall and before customs only accept cash! This is kind of annoying as you just arrived in Thailand and probably don’t have Thai Baht yet.
There are ATMs all around as well as currency exchange. Mind you that all ATM’s in Thailand charge a 220 THB fee for withdrawing money. That is $6.5 USD per transaction. This applies to all ATM’s in Bangkok, there is no escaping!
If you want to pay for your Thailand sim card by card you have to wait until you are in the arrival hall. All phone shops in the arrival hall accept credit card payments.
VIII. Free WiFi
Bangkok’s BKK Airport has good, free WiFi and available 24/7. There is no limit to the amount of time and data that can be used (unlike Don Mueang International (DMK) in Bangkok). The WiFi network covers all areas of the airport, including the arrival and departure halls, gates and lounges.
So, if you are not convinced by the local prepaid SIM card deals, you can always use the WiFi to order a travel e-SIM card for Thailand.
In case you forgot to buy a SIM card, and you are reading this article after leaving Bangkok BKK Airport, or you simply want the cheapest Bangkok SIM card deals, then you should visit any random phone store or official retail store in Bangkok city where they sell prepaid SIM cards for Thailand.
IX. Extra notes when getting a SIM card at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport
- Choose a reputable provider: Stick to a reputable network provider when buying a SIM card at the airport. The major providers in Thailand are AIS, DTAC, and TrueMove. They all have booths at the airport.
- Check the plan details: Make sure to check the details of the prepaid plans available to find the one that suits your needs. Some plans might offer more data, talk time, or text messages, while others might come with additional features like international calls or roaming.
- Verify the SIM card size: Different mobile phones use different SIM card sizes, so make sure to check the size of the SIM card you need before purchasing. Some providers offer SIM cards that can be cut to fit different sizes.
- Bring your passport: You’ll need to present your passport to purchase a SIM card in Thailand. The staff at the airport will make a copy of your passport to register the SIM card.
- Test the SIM card before leaving the booth: Before leaving the booth, make sure to test the SIM card to ensure that it’s working properly. Check that you have a good signal and can make calls, send text messages, and use data.
- Top up your balance: Prepaid SIM cards need to be topped up to add more credit to your account. You can usually top up at the airport booth or at convenience stores and other locations throughout Thailand. Keep in mind that some plans might include an initial amount of credit that you can use right away.
- Choose esim if your phone is supported: it is better to choose an esim and buy it in advance, then after landing at BKK airport, you will automatically have Internet access without having to wait in line.
► We also have other guides for travelers to get a sim card at other airports in Thailand in case you land at other Thai airports
X. FAQs about Getting a sim card at BKK airport
Can I buy a sim card at Suvarnabhumi airport?
Yes, you can buy a SIM card at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok, Thailand. There are several booths located throughout the airport that sell SIM cards for different mobile network providers in Thailand, such as AIS, DTAC, and TrueMove. The booths are usually located in the arrival hall or near the baggage claim area. When buying a SIM card at Suvarnabhumi airport, you’ll need to present your passport to register the SIM card.
How much is a sim card at Bangkok airport?
The cost of a SIM card at Bangkok airport can vary depending on the network provider and the plan you choose. Typically, you can expect to pay around 100-300 baht (approximately $3-$10 USD) for a basic prepaid SIM card that comes with a certain amount of data and talk time. However, prices can be higher for SIM cards with more data and features.